K-12 Outreach

The Scientific Data Analysis Lab is eager to work with K-12 educators in Indiana. We believe that science and math learning can be enhanced through the use of computers and appropriate open source software. Introducing children to computer technology should be much more than just surfing the Web and learning document processing and spreadsheet tools. A computer can be a marvelous tool for teaching concepts in science and mathematics. One common approach is to use the computer for real-world (or imaginary-world) simulations. These simulations can be made very visual through the use of computer graphics and can be driven by age-appropriate mathematics. By incorporating graphical user interaction into these simulations, we let students change parameters and thereby encourage the important "what if" questions.

One open source software tool that we recommend for enhancing science and math learning for younger students (elementary-middle school) is called Squeak. Together with Katie Browning, Director of the Girl Scout Math and Science Center (Indianapolis), we delivered a poster presentation about Squeak for the ITAP Teaching and Learning with Technology conference at Purdue in Feb 2005. We have also presented several workshops at various after-school centers (below).

Comments and feedback are always welcome!

Workshops at the Indy Girl Scout Math & Science Center

In spite of the snowy, blustery weather, we had a packed house and LOTS of fun at our first (March '05) Girl Scout workshop learning Squeak. For the main project, each pair of girls created their own "critter" and then programmed the critter to have particular behaviors. The primary behavior/goal was to have a critter successfully follow a trail of "food". (NOTE: No critters were harmed in the making of this workshop).

We followed up with other workshops, also held at the Math & Science Center, in Nov,Dec '05; Jan,Feb,Mar,Oct '06; Jan,Mar '07.

Presentation at Squeakfest '05

We presented a mathematical modeling education project aimed at middle/high school students at the annual Squeakland conference in 2005.

You can also hear the keynote talk of Alan Kay.

Workshops at Girls Incorporated® of Indianapolis

The SDA Lab began volunteering for once-a-week after-school computer workshops in the Girls Inc.® She's Techknow! program in fall 2005 and continuing in 2006.

Supercomputing '05 Education Program

We created a module for the K-12 Education Program at the Supercomputing 2005 conference. The module was entitled Introduction to Distributed Computing. It consisted of a Powerpoint presentation, a more extensive Flash presentation (with audio), and included a hands-on simulation using Squeak.

Workshops at kidscommons

The SDA Lab began volunteering for Saturday morning computer workshops at kidscommons (Columbus IN) in 2006.

HASTI 2006

The SDA Lab presented a talk and demonstration at the 2006 HASTI conference.

TLT 2006

The SDA Lab and Katie Browning once again presented a poster session at the Purdue ITaP Teaching and Learning with Technology conference.

ISEF 2006

The SDA Lab presented a two-day interactive exhibit at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, May 11-12.

Life Science Education

  • Medical imaging: segmentation, registration, 3-D reconstruction
  • Genes and proteins
  • Health education

*-Note1: requires have the Squeak plugin installed

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